CHMP Co-directors, Diana Mason and Barbara Glickstein, are attending the International Council of Nurses 25th Quadrennial Congress 18-23 May 2013 in Melbourne, Australia. In addition to reporting on the proceedings they will be participating on a panel titled, The Strategic Use of Media to Shape Health Policy, where they will discuss the work of the Center for Health Media and Policy.
We’ve arrived. It was quite a journey from NYC to LA to Melbourne. We left on Wednesday and arrived on Friday. Thursday just disappeared. Closest thing to space travel.
The ICN Media Centre will be our base with media folks from around the world here to report on the Congress. When I asked at the media desk check-in what hashtag we should use for the Congress I was disappointed to find out that one had not been assigned. A few tweets using #ICN13 followed by a search on Twitter found three hashtags circulating- #ICN13, #ICN2013, #ICNAust2013. Oh well, it’s a step forward. Four years ago in South Africa only a couple of us were on Twitter. Progress. Slow, but progress.
The first session I attended was the Nursing Student Assembly. Student presenters addressed issues on education, technology, access to care in rural areas and advancing the practice of nursing. I was particularly moved by the students interest in developing more clinical placements in rural areas to address the lack of access to primary care in regions locally and globally. One student reported repeated requests at her university to expand clinical placements in rural areas only to be met with resistance. Her response. She created an independent health promotion elective and forged ahead. Other students followed. The message repeated throughout this session is that student nurses are powerful individually and collectively and are making a difference. They encouraged each other not to wait until you finish your degree and get your license but to make an impact now to address health disparities and inequity.
These student nurses are smart, bold nurse activists. They are nurse leaders with a serious commitment to address equity and access to health care.
Barbara Glickstein reporting from ICN 2013 Melbourne, Australia